A few weeks back, I mentioned that there are six phases to a fitness journey. Taking some of the content from my book The Body Tithe Devotional, I gave an overview of each of the six phases. Today, I want to go a little more in depth on Phase 1: The Fire Phase. Here’s what I say about the first phase in The Body Tithe Devotional.
WEEKS 1–3 FIRE PHASE
You’re on fire! Excited to get started. Excited about the new exercise routine and maybe even the nutrition. If you’re coming back from an illness or injury, the prospect of getting back to the old you is exciting.
On the surface, this phase seems pretty self-explanatory. You finally want to do something about your fitness and you’re actually excited about it.
If that’s all you are thinking about, however, you are missing an opportunity.
This phase is preceded by you coming to some kind of conclusion as to “why” you want to get fit. You may not have spent much time contemplating it but that’s where so many people make mistakes. Most people gloss over this or don’t dig deep enough.
KNOW THIS: Taking time to understand and develop your “why” can make the difference between fitness being a month-long or a life-long practice.
I talk about developing your “why” in Setting Fitness Goals – Part I. I’d encourage you to read that post in its entirety. But here’s a snippet that helps identify why the “why” is so important:
“… we’ve identified the “Why” which is equally, if not more important than the “What.” How come this is? Because if we don’t know why we are doing what we are doing, it’s too easy to become distracted and/or discouraged. But by identifying the why, we can get at the heart of the issue, which often times reveals an emotional and/or spiritual need and also an entity outside ourselves.”
Did you catch that? Without a well-defined “why,” when plateaus come, we are far too easily knocked off kilter. If we ever only go skin-deep, we’ll never reach the heart.
Speaking of the heart, this is the BIGGEST MISTAKE CHRISTIANS MAKE with their fitness, they are NOT focused on the heart… not their heart, nor the heart of the Father.
This is understandable really. Fitness seems like such a physical issue. So we focus on the physical results: getting stronger, thinner, feeling better, running faster, __________.
Taking time to understand and develop your “why” can make the difference between fitness being a month-long or a life-long practice.
The problem is, when we stop seeing physical results, we lose motivation, make compromises, and the backsliding begins… again.
Don’t misunderstand: wanting and hoping for physical results is not wrong. They just SHOULD NOT be our focus. They SHOULD NOT be our “why.”
What if, however, our “why” is simply to honor God with our bodies because we are told to, because it’s an act of worship, sacrifice, submission, love, ministry, and gratitude?
I’ll tell you what happens: our “fire” never has to die. Our excitement never needs to diminish.
We have the opportunity to bring glory and honor to the God of all creation and we can do this NO MATTER WHAT the results are.
So my encouragement during the Fire Phase is to focus on really understanding your “why.” You’re going to need to come back to it time and time again.
Let’s face it… passion only gets us through so much. When it starts to fade, having a consistent, unwavering “why” to come back to, that will be your rock.
And for the Christian, there’s no better rock than the Lord.
SO HOW ARE YOU PREPARING FOR YOUR FITNESS JOURNEY? ARE YOU PLANING AHEAD, PREPARING FOR THE UPS AND DOWNS? HAVE YOU FOCUSED ON DEVELOPING A “WHY?”